Thursday, July 30, 2020

NEP2020 is LIP service – Language Imposition Policy.

சொன்னால் விரோதம் ஆயினும் சொல்கிறேன்!


What is the aim of education?

The answer to this is same as “what is the aim of life?” says Peters, a professor of philosophy of education at the University of London. So what is the aim of life? The answer can be spiritual, philosophical or materialistic. In olden days, people were clear about what they wanted in life and based on that gone after the kind of education that was suitable for them. They learned the three Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic) and those after material pursuits learned the hereditary skill in addition.

Where are we today? Today also we need these, the three Rs and skill to support our material progress. So any educational policy of the government must be based on these. Does the newly rolled out National Educational Policy 2020 fulfill this?

The first shocker is the promotion of “Multi-lingualism” at formative years aimed at cutting off ‘Phoren” English but forcing down  “Phoren Hindi, phoren Marathi, phoren Bengali ……and so on” for the child of a different mother tongue.

So, the two of the three Rs are going to be drawn from three different languages, none of them going to be of help to material progress of the child later. Where just one language can do, the government is thrusting three languages for the fault of having born in multi-lingual India.  That one language happens to be English is what troubles the Government. But that language makes my ward expand his frontiers of knowledge is no concern to the Government. That one language enables my ward to present his findings in journals read by reputed scientists around the world is of no concern to the government. What the government wants is to make India “Ek Bharat Sreshtha Bharat” says this link https://taxguru.in/corporate-law/national-education-policy-2020-nep-2020.html


For a concept like this – of promoting Classical languages, regional languages, why sacrifice my ward’s time, youth, aspirations and capabilities? Regional language development is the responsibility of the State governments. Ek Bharat Sreshtha Bharat comes by cultural unity and not by forcing three languages through my ward’s tongue – none of which are going to fill his stomach. It is a lone battle for each child when it comes to choosing the subjects of choice and University of choice in the midst of oppressing  reservation policy which no government is going to do away with.

It is even funny reading the claims of NEP on multiple entry and exit  with certification. What is the cost of it in the job market? Will Tata or Infosys recruit my ward with such certificates? Such entry and exit may have limited use for very less number of people. For the majority, proper streams of subjects learned through the medium that is most valuable in today’s world is the need of the hour. Why many people with professional degree are not able to land up in good jobs but are turned away with the advice to undertake a course in English? This is common sight in Tamilnadu, mainly because it chose a bad education policy tinged with regional language chauvinism. The same is now being promoted by the BJP government at the national level through NEP2020.

The next deception is the claim that the present 10+2 stands scrapped. NEP 2020 proposes 5+3+3+4 curricular structure starting from the age of 3, with 3 years of pre-schooling (one additional year before LKG and UKG) and 12 years of schooling. In what way it is different from 10+2?  With the burden of exams at 3rd, 5th and 8th Grade (Standard in the current system) and Board exams at 10th and 12th Grade, it is nothing but the old wine in a new cup. Nothing changes for the kids and their parents. Only additional burden in the form of ‘phoren’ languages of India and a bleak future once the student steps out of school.

The next issue that pops up is whether this policy is applicable to CBSE or all boards. Since education is in concurrent list, I wonder how this can be forced on all States. The claim of “universalization of education” gives a deja vu of uniform syllabus’ introduced by Karunanidhi that killed education in State Board schools of Tamilnadu. It saw a migration to CBSE stream. Now with NEP2020, there is going to be a flight from CBSE to ICSE and international schools. We are going to see a vertical division of the society between haves and have-nots with haves (who can afford the hefty cost of those schools) rising up in the ladder with better access given by English knowledge. 

All those who are against English as medium of instruction are language chauvinists, Hindi belt BJP-ians who struggle to connect with non-Hindi speaking people, think-tanks of foreign origin or think-tanks who made English speaking countries their homes, and who are still awed at Japan, Germany, Russia, China etc for their strides with local languages without blinking an eye on the local conditions. China may curb English, but Chinese want to learn English. I hear from sources how they feel disadvantaged at not being able to promote their researches at the world level. India should not behave like China in language policy. I find either political motives or political leanings among the supporters of NEP2020, but can see none among them a struggling parent for whom education means an investment for future. Definitely the language policy at school and High school is going to stunt their growth and slash their dreams of making it big in life.

I am just fed up with their arguments which are same as the ones I have been hearing right from the 90s. At that time the issue was around English as ‘link language’. The present problem is also because of the same reason - the BJP government not willing to accept English as the link language.
In the place of learning just one link language which can be used within India and outside as well, this Government is forcing three languages from the pool of Indian languages for the tiny tots until 8th standard. After the 8th grade there is no way the student can learn the subjects through English. So successfully the BJP government is closing the opportunities for all the students to learn what is happening outside India. I can easily foresee how future-Indians are going to be like – having seen how the Tamil-only- learners have turned out to be now. And BJP wants only such people – the “Nationalists” whose identity lies only in their national tongue which is ultimately going to be Hindi!


18 comments:

mythra81 said...

english language will lose relevance in this age of technology as a lot of supposed knowledge being presented in english language so called scientific literature is proven to be manipulated or false to fit certain vested interests and agenda and multilingualism and language translators become more prevalent........BREXIT is already the first sign of the fall of english as europe will soon ignore britain and treat english just as another regional language.........america is also on a long path of decline and don't be surprised if the country shrinks like china is going to in the coming decade....india can consider adopting simplified sanskrit as a link language and there will come a time many other nations will consider sanskrit as an alternative language of global communication as it was in the past

T.Annamalai said...

Dear Madam,
You have reflected the minds of every middle class parents. I wish to a add point by Quoting your own argument in the linked article. "The language of education and learning a language belong to the domain of education and cannot be meddled with for political and even national reasons. In fact a well-educated person is a national asset and as such the medium in which he or she is educated cannot be dictated by the government but decided by the parents and their wards. Government is only a facilitator". The unnecessary diversion of the government from core issues is paining every honest supporters of this government from Tamilnadu. If the government wishes percolation of Sanskrit among us it can do it by adopting the path followed for propagating Hindi among Tamils. It is a time tested successful model. It is good to learn Sanskrit. But not by imposing in schools at the cost of diluting valuable school timings. T.Annamalai

jayasree said...

@mythra81,

No language is in sight other than English to become a global medium for knowledge and exchange of knowledge.

You wrote
//english language will lose relevance in this age of technology as a lot of supposed knowledge being presented in english language so called scientific literature is proven to be manipulated or false to fit certain vested interests and agenda and multilingualism and language translators become more prevalent..//

If the scientific literature is found to be manipulated or false, such literature will be retracted. English language has nothing to do with that.

Translators can help in small spheres, but science and technology today had gone beyond the scope of translating for dissemination within specific language groups, with new additions happening almost every day. It is wise to study them in the language it is written, i.e. English.

//BREXIT is already the first sign of the fall of english as europe will soon ignore britain and treat english just as another regional language..//

Who cares as long as all knowledge and research works continue to be published in English? My close relative, an editor for a reputed international journal on medicine, says that they get more research papers from the Chinese, but none of them fit for publishing. English is bad and the experiments doubtable. The Chinese request the publisher to help them correct the English, but why should they do when it is not their job? As you say, translators are sought by the Chinese, but how could they understand the material that calls for expertise in the subject? So the Chinese have the most number of rejected papers too.

//america is also on a long path of decline and don't be surprised if the country shrinks like china is going to in the coming decade//

Not going to affect predominance of English in knowledge spheres.
A language's importance is determined by the utility it offers.

//.india can consider adopting simplified sanskrit as a link language and there will come a time many other nations will consider sanskrit as an alternative language of global communication as it was in the past//

Sanskrit was never a link language in the past. All knowledge stuff was in Sanskrit. Anyone wanting to access knowledge stuff, must learn Sanskrit. Thats all. That place of Sanskrit is taken over by English globally, and Sanskrit can never replace English globally - for the very basic reason that all knowledge is accessed by the medium of English only, globally. Even the engineering literature in German are accessible in English.

The Chinese have this obsession with language. But at what cost? They have their own research portal in which they recently posted the findings of gel like impact breccia spotted on lunar soil by the small truck they landed on moon. This is of interest to me also because I am looking for evidence of extra terrestrial impact on the moon on the day Krishna was in Hastinapur on peace mission. The details of the substance found on lunar soil were reported in Chinese language portal that could not be understood by researchers in the rest of the world.

Now they have posted their findings that it is not necessarily caused by an impact but by eruption. Who would judge this finding? Shouldn't the academia be supplied with the description of the material? What do the Chinese gain by these? Do we want similar actions by Indians after having got their own national language in which they have published the discoveries they make? Just asking. What purpose it serves?

(Cont'd)

jayasree said...

We need a clarity on what is education and what is the role of language. Burdening tiny tots with 3 language is a crime.Studies on Broca's area and critical period of language acquisition shows that it works early in life. But then why does the Govt want to thrust three languages, barring English at that age? The reason cited is helping in cognitive ability. No. Cognition and brain development are found increased in research on vedic recitation, i.e. on repetitive renditions. Memorizing and repeating many times increases cognitive ability (Hartzell et al and Karama et al). Language learning doesn't involve these abilities. Kids are able to learn the languages quickly because the Broca's area is still growing in formative years.

By the NEP, a Tamil child living in Mumbai has to learn Marathi, and 2 other languages. What are they likely to be? Definitely not Tamil and English is banned. It has no choice but to take up Hindi and another north Indian language or sanskrit. Aren't you imposing languages of no relevance this child?

Sanskrit is sought after in CBSE for scoring marks. Ask the students after they had grown up. No one remembers. They even comment how many wastefuls they had studied in school that they don't use, don't remember in life.

Ideally its enough to have 2-language formula. English or any language as the medium of instruction left to the choice of the children / parent. Another language is also the child's / parent's choice, to be learned as a subject. It could be Tamil for a Tamil child living in Mumbai or Telugu for Andhra child living in Chennai, or the native language of the child, native to the place.

If you want to develop Sanskrit, Hindi or whatever, have separate Prachar Sabhas to help people who want to learn on their own volition. No age difference there. In fact language studies are pursued at older age, after an informed and conscious decision by the learner.
Only in India we have these narrow minded goals playing with our kid's life.

jayasree said...

Dear Mr T.Annamalai.

Exactly. If the government is really serious about promoting a language, it must set up Hindi Prachar Sabha like organisations for the languages. Language studies are seriously pursued in old age only, like Srivaishnavite studies.

Moreover the current move is exactly the same as Karunanidhi Formula. MK insisted on Tamil and Uniform syllabus for schools coming under govt control, but the schools run by his family members are untouched by it. On one side the family makes money while on the other vote bank is kept intact.

Modi also seems to follow this policy through NEP. Bhakts are foolishly screaming on top voice for 3 lang formula least realising that this is going to affect the common man while the foreign boards run by the powerfuls and the wealthy are going to mint more money and those who can afford are going to going to get better access to knowledge. Modi seems to prefer to less informed common man who will now be able to listen to him speak Hindi. Amit Shash told that somehow they will bring Hindi. They had done it. Kudos to democracy, Kudos Hindutwa, nay, Hinditwa.

T.Annamalai said...

Dear Madam,
Thanks for your Reply. The supporters of NEP claims, education should bring in overall development. The language skill is one among them. If they are really serious about it then at the end of college studies, one can opt for a spoken/written improvement in the language of their choice for a period of 6 months so that, language could not come as impediment in their growth (if at all it has any role to play, this 6 months rigorous orientation may be sufficient for the select few). Why to trouble all the kids. Third Languare is only a medium to communicate their taught. It should not be made as compulsory at school level and waste valuable time of school education. I think it is one way to improve job opportunity for the Hindi and Sanskrit learners. Unfortunately, today, Tamil nadu is standing as an example of victim of educational policy mismanagement orchestrated by MK. You and anybody serious about the development of our state, its educational level knows about it. I do not want to write more about it waste your time.
If a good Tamil scholar (has love for his mother tongue) is entrusted with a sole mandate to research the current level of Tamil literature Ph.D thesis and quality of Master students across the universities of our state, without government/powerful peoples pressure, then entire Tamil community will come to know about the status of language, Tamil knowledge and the danger awaiting for the improvement of our language. All this Dravidian crocodiles are shedding tears for excavation works first understand the present day reality, and then we can think and take pride about our past. T.Annamalai

Karthikbabu Kuttin said...

Dear Jayasree ji, appreciate your views and opinion. I put forth my views in connection with it.
I live in TN, but my mother tongue is not Tamil. NEP says the medium of instruction till 5th standard will be mother tongue! What a narrow-minded policy for this diversified spread of multi-lingual population. Learning additional languages is not a burden, but forcing the medium of instruction is a very cruel way. I could only see the motive to bring down the level of English advantage the south has and make them on par (low) with the north. I vehemently oppose forcing the medium of instruction.

jayasree said...

Dear Mr T.Annamalai,

Learning Hindi or Sanskrit can in no way increase the job opportunities. If so many jobs are there for knowing Hindi, why maximum labour for tertiary sector is drawn from Hindi speaking regions of the North? Job opportunity is a myth. There are more jobs in south Indian capital cities than in North India. The migrating persons pick up the language of the place. Here again we see a unique tendency of North Indians. Even a construction worker from north does not attempt to speak in the local language. But those who go from here to North, pick up Hindi and speak to them in Hindi. Is inefficiency the root cause for north Indian apathy? Or is it ego?

Another issue I often hear is partiality of the North Indians for their own ilk. For a south Indian it is terrible to have a N.Indian as the boss. Another feature I know from personal experience is that no north Indian in blue or white collar job employed in south India cares to learn the local language or speaks in that language. This attitude is very high in colleges including medical colleges where there is interaction with patients from local area. But our people are too accomodative in allotting English knowing patients to north Indian students, and when not possible colleagues coming to their aid in speaking to the patient on their behalf. Does this happen in any medical college in the north?

These were all brewing for a long time and reached a breaking point after Modi took over. Keezhadi is the ultimate end result of this kind of tendency of the North Indian towards non- Hindi speaking people. With Modi himself speaking in Hindi on crucial occasions when he must be heard by one and all, and with no regional or English sub titles, the trust factor is completely gone. He is perpetuating north-south divide and language chauvinism. We preferred to ignore this all these days, but when he is throwing the axe at our kids' education, we can not be quiet any more.

His occasional quote of Tirukkural may satisfy his party men, but not persons like me who look at issues for their merits. No one expects Modi or anyone from other languages learn Tirukkural or Tamil. We want him to allow us decide the educational future of our kids by catering to our needs in this regard.

jayasree said...

Dear Mr Karthikbabu Kuttin,

What you said is true -// bring down the level of English advantage the south has and make them on par (low) with the north//

Fish said...

The study of three languages compulsory is not required. English should be compulsory. Hindi/or local language should be compulsory only upto 10+2

jayasree said...

@ Fish,

I would like to re-phrase what you wrote as follows:

The choice of medium of language must be left to the parents who know better what they want for their kids. The choice must include English.

Apart from the medium of language, there must be only one additional language (2nd language) as a subject of study to be left to the choice of the parent. For example, an Andhra person who has come to Chennai for work, would like his kids to learn reading and writing in Telugu. He should have the freedom to choose Telugu for his child.

Forcing regional languages on the school kids would not lead to development of regional language. Such policy is injustice to kids and and parents, which is unacceptable in a democracy like ours. Separate Boards for regional languages must set up centers in all towns to facilitate learning, research and advanced study in the regional language. But we are keen on outsourcing the advanced study to Harvard like Universities who are bent on twisting our history and culture.

Dr Rama Krishnan said...

With due respect I beg to differ with Madam Ji. It is high time we ditch English.Slowly but surely! This initiative hopefully will be the beginning of the end of English. Children are very capable of learning 3 languages and hopefully this initiative will break the language politics of Tamil Nadu for once and all. And hopefully the Aryan Dravidian politics.
Germans, Japanese, French, Chinese are managing to learn all the latest in the scientific fields in their own mother tongues. In Germany they learn German, English and French. Translation of scientific material into regional languages will not be a problem in this modern age. Translations are getting better and better.Maybe the requirement to learn a second or third language will become even obsolete in the future.There are apps even now which can translate a spoken language into many other languages. This is only going to get better in the future.
Bottom line: The colonial education system as it stands should be dismantled and relegated to the dustbin. Period.
I honestly would have been happy if Sanskrit had been made as a compulsory language. Most prestigious schools and universities in Europe are going for Sanskrit. With DMK/ADMK at the helm, this will be a political suicide and I understand the difficulties.

jayasree said...

Thanks Dr Ramakrishnan for joining the discussion.

I have nothing to add to what you have written, because you have written the replies to the issues you raised.

// There are apps even now which can translate a spoken language into many other languages. This is only going to get better in the future.//

What you wrote in support for translators, holds very much good for the students!!
Today language is NOT thrust into the throat of students in western countries precisely because you can get translations into any language. Proficiency in the language that gets access to knowledge is the need of the hour. And that language is pursued in other countries. A Raman, or a Chandrasekhar or a Venki could rise up on par with the global luminaries in science and technology, precisely because they accessed the knowledge in respective fields through English. Whether you accept it or not, proficiency in English gets one access vast knowledge.

//The colonial education system as it stands should be dismantled and relegated to the dustbin.//

Don't you see that the colonial aka western educational system is promoted more vigorously through NEP2020

Starting schooling at 3 years comes from which system, Indian or western?
Westerners have no time for children. With both parents working, they have no time to personally groom their kids. But what about Indian system?
In olden days education started only at 8 years in our country.
In my times only after completing 5 years.
No Gurukul in India insisted on learning many languages.
There was only Sanskrit that was a vehicle for all knowledge in India
Even mother tongue was not taught in Gurukul, which is known from the fact that no languages of India except Tamil had written letter until 1000 years ago.

Only Tamil and Sanskrit had written letters that were developed simultaneously.
Even then the student was not expected to learn both Tamil and Sanskrit in Tamil lands.
Look at my articles on this topic to know that they opted for only one of the two through which learnt literature, Itihasas, Puranas, grammaer of the language.
It is only deceiving ourselves by not knowing how the system worked in the past, that we are applauding a political move of the current govt.

Family system plays a big role in communication, grooming, tactfulness, faculties and what not of the child. This is reiterated in research studies too. But ignoring that we are forcing 3 year olds that need to run around freely at home, to forcefully sit under teachers who come to the profession not for love of teaching but for making money. Long long way to go to prepare our teachers even for the basic task of teaching, do you know?

//I honestly would have been happy if Sanskrit had been made as a compulsory language. //

At your age you will say this. At my age I am willing to do Phd in Tamil studies. Love for language comes with age. At the formative years, give them what is needed for higher education and the employment and prepare them in the faculties needed for it.



Dr Rama Krishnan said...

Thank you Madam Ji for your kind response. I still beg to differ.
Learning three languages does not imply that you need to be proficient in all of them. It’s a big ask and let us admit it, it’s not practical either. A working knowledge in two and proficiency in one is what I expect to happen. Plus this will importantly break the Aryan Dravidian stuff. The Kazagam politicians and politics are riding on this fault line for over seventy years.
There are a lot of non English speaking , phenomenal scientists ( a number of Nobel laureates are non English speaking individuals) and knowledge luminaries in the world. They are the standing examples that you don’t need to know English to be outstanding in science or in various other fields .English will help but not essential.
The colonial Macauley system of education system is not synonymous with modern western education system. Colonial system was specifically developed to suppress our knowledge system and way of life. Let us also admit that it is not practical to start education at the age of eight in a Gurukulam. Unfortunately too.
I personally would have preferred to start schooling from the age of five. I am not sure this is possible in the current scenario where both parents are working or need to work to make ends meet. I admit starting at three is not ideal.
My interest in Sanskrit goes at least two decades . Though my father was a Sanskrit scholar ( he ran free Sanskrit school) none in the family learned the language. Migrating to a strange alien country over four decades ago and working away long hours in hospital emergency and later in private practice and with a young family to raise, learning Sanskrit was the last thing in my mind. My comment about making Sanskrit compulsory comes from research done in the last couple of decades. Children who learn Sanskrit are alert and focused, have a better capacity to analyse and compute various problems . Learning Sanskrit grammar gives enormous advantage in the computer field.
Yes, I will be happy to learn Sanskrit in my old age( will be hitting 72 years in few months) but I think it is going to be just another dream. It’s not going to happen in this life. Sanskrit is the perfect language with vast literature in every field. Learning it in a young only will benefit our children.
Thank you Ji for hearing me out and apologies for any misunderstandings.

jayasree said...

Thanks for your response Dr Rama krishnan,

# As you say proficiency in one language is enough and needed. Why then you want the kids to learn more languages than necessary?

# You know how much our Indian kids are taxed by our education system? You know how dreadful it is for parents too? The enormity of unnecessary and taxing syllabus gets me kids from 8th standard onwards for astrological counselling. You know how many of them lose interest in studies by the time they come to 10th standard? Hardly 10% in a class can cope with, not everyone.

# When lot needs to be done on quality of teaching, teachers and the material to be studied, NEP 2020 is adding to a burden of languages. Not everyone is tuned to language learning. Ask people after their studies. They will tell you how many wastefuls they were forced to study and how much they remember after school.

# As far as language study is concerned, spoken part does not come unless the language is primary, i.e, spoken and heard by the person in his surroundings. So no use in learning north Indian languages for south Indians. But once this is forced onto us, the BJP government will start releasing all the circulars, in Hindi. If this is not imposition what else is? If this is not arrogance what else is? They have difficulty in communicating with south Indians. An average north Indian has no acumen for languages other than his own. They are forcing us to reach their level. Know this ground reality.

# I am asking to leave the decision on language and medium of instruction to the parents. Removal of English from the list is a crime against the students. The country is much to lose.

# Attack Aryan- Dravidian stuff where it should be attacked and don't bring it to kids. In fact by raking up this language issue, Modi and BJP are constantly keeping the Dumeels on toes with AIT kept alive. I strongly think this is to keep the vote back in tact. Always keep the people in stress and fear, they will be with you at elections. That is how the BJP won the last elections.

Do you know in India there is only one Eco-system. There is no left, right or centre. Whoever comes to power will have an understanding with each other. You shout, I shout and we will share the spoils - that is the temdency. Because of this we found Modi allowing beef manufacturers to 'follow' rules - in cattle movement and abattoirs - with the result India became the biggest beef exporter under Modi's regime. A person of Dharmic Vaasana will not make that happen, know that. He wont take on Sonia or Rahul or corrupt DMK or any corrupt. He needs all of them, for only then the people will rush to him as a saviour. Why pick out Modi? Anyone coming to power does that. Do you know the more one shouts against the powers that be, the more assured you become of the benefits. Only we the people are clueless.

(Continued)

jayasree said...

# Doctor, you seem to be out of touch with reality. English is the vehicle to expand your knowledge of science and technology. Just a sample case, tell me what is the equivalent word for Trigeminal neuralgia in Tamil or any Indian language? How could a medical student collect more information on this in the native languages he / she studied? How could he / she update the knowledge on this? There are numerous terms and descriptions and concepts like this -Please be practical.

# What we have to do with colonial system of education applies to history only - of re-writing the history books that glorify invaders and shun the Indic past. Rest of the subjects are already overhauled. We need more quality teachers and innovative methodology. The other day a person told me of the teacher's standard at the pre-school level itself in a very reputed Hindu school of Mumbai. The online classes give an opportunity to know the standard of teachers. In this particular incident, the teacher told a child of 4 years that she didn't ask other students to clap for that child because the child did not say the story correctly. Enough? Would you see this kind of talk in your country or any western country? The problem with education is something else.

# With both parents working, child's study takes a beating. Today's education system demands more time of the parents. With loss of English as medium parents have to struggle hard with kids. We will be seeing unhealthy growth of English coaching classes if the new policy is implemented. It is so in China. Those who have means have managed to study English and left China for the USA. The unfortunate have to cope with the communist regime at home. (This is first hand information from Chinese students in the USA) Seems India will be pushed to that level due to this language-obsession of the central government.

# Sorry to say this: your father ran a Sanskrit school, none of his kids learned the language. Obvious reasons are disinterest or lack of economic opportunities offered by that language or that language not catering to the educational interests. These three are there for everyone at all times. So respect their choices, their needs and don't impose your views.

# You talk about research in Sanskrit. For every research you show I can show four for the other side. And here again there is a mistaken understanding. The research you refer to pertains to vedic recital after 9 years. It was found that repeated recitation improves cognition. This applies to any recitation.

# Computer codes and allied matters were created by people with no knowledge of Sanskrit. The advantage of Sanskrit is told to us by the English speaking ones, not by Sanskrit scholars. So knowledge of coding comes first.

# Sanskrit as you wrote has vast literature. That is not relevant to science and technology, the fastest growing fields of knowledge. So everything starts from the first question I asked in the blog- What is the aim of education? Does our education policy cater to that aim? In this we don't want Modi to do a Karunanidhi.

Dr Rama Krishnan said...

Not sure whether you have received my earlier response Madam Ji. Thanks once again for your response. This will be my last response and I will try to make it brief!
English is not necessary to reach the pinnacle in any field. Standing examples are numerous scientists, Engineers and others in various fields including Nobel laureates who did all their work in their mother language or in another language. I am not going argue on this point. English helps but not essential.
Colonial education system did not just hide our history. It completely suppressed our superior educational system and the culture that was associated with it. It’s not synonymous with modern western education system. I have read Sri Dharampal’s book “ The beautiful tree “. We had a phenomenal system of education without any caste biases and this was much superior to the educational system that was prevalent in England at that time. Evidences are all from primary sources, from the British archives.
What’s the term for trigeminal neuralgia in Tamil? None. What is it in French, German, Japanese, Russian or various other languages? Plenty. If all of the above nationals can learn and master modern medicine and various other scientific studies in their own languages, it should be possible for us also. Obviously it will need a lot effort and political will and time. One should start somewhere instead of hanging onto the tailcoats of the British and their language. Now is the time to START the breakaway process.
We learned 3 languages in school at our time though Hindi became a non compulsory subject. You can learn it but it wasn’t necessary to pass the exam. A lot of my friends from Karnataka, Andhra, Kerala learned three languages. It is going to take some effort but not insurmountable. Funnily, I saw a picture of GOVERNMENT RUN SCHOOL in FB. It teaches 3 languages, Tamil, English and Urudu. Edapadi silence is deafening on this.
Education in the west is not all hunky dorey. The applicants who applied for a receptionist job in my practice ( all young Australians, minimum 10 th grade , compulsory in Oz) had terrible written English. Numerical skills are not great either. Every system will have faults and it’s own downsides. Nothing is going to be perfect.
Sanskrit topic is a side issue and mostly irrelevant. Nevertheless, learning Sanskrit improves one’s focus and ability to solve problems. Children with ADHD improve when they learn Sanskrit. I can post numerous studies on benefits of learning Sanskrit.. I am not talking about reciting mantras though benefits have been shown when reciting Om Vs random words . If you have studies which show the downsides of learning Sanskrit, please post the links I will be really happy look into those studies and happy to change my mind.
My father was a wealthy successful lawyer and banker and a gold medalist in the Madras presidency. He was traditionalist but so called “ modern “. He was a Rotarian governor, president of Chamber of commerce and a Sanskrit scholar. Our priest will be there early morning reading Ramayana in the puja room and pretty much everyone in the family can recite Vishnu sakasranamam. In spite of this, my dad was an admirer of the British and English. The best thing that happened to India was the British Invasion, was his view. He didn’t know the greatnesses of Sanskrit, otherwise he would have forced us to learn it. He , like many other intellectuals in his time, was the product of the Macauley educational system. They never learned the greatnesses of Sanskrit. Knowing the language is one thing, understanding it’s greatnesses is another. Information and Indian history came from the British and I cannot blame him.
I travel to India at least twice a year, been to Kashmir, Ladakh, UP, MP, Rajasthan, Karnataka. Kashi, Priyagraj, Gaya. I probably know about Indian and TN politics more than 90%of Indians. If I am out of touch, so be it.
Thank you Ji once again for hearing me out. Unfortunately it became a lengthy response.
As they say, we agree to disagree.
Namaskaram
Dr Rama Krishnan

jayasree said...

Dear Dr Rama Krishnan,
For everything of what you have written replies are there in the above blog or my comments.

What ails this issue of language is (1)goal of education is not central in this discourse (2) not sync with ground reality of millions of children (3) English has come out of colonial grip long ago and has become a useful vehicle to access knowledge beyond. None of the Nobel laureates from India ignored English and it is their proficiency in English that helped them access knowledge of science and reach out.